Lindie Naughton brings us a whole host of Irish action, with the outdoor track season really coming to life now.
Aaron Hanlon of Drogheda and District AC ran his best race in some years when winning the Terenure 5-Mile in Dublin with a time of 24 mins 42 secs.
Hanlon battled it out all the way with Peter Somba of Dunboyne AC before breaking away in the later stages of the race. Somba finished in 24:51, Finishing third in 25:23 was reigning Irish marathon champion Martin Hoare of Celbridge AC.
A clear winner of the women’s race in 27:58 was Ciara Hickey of Bros Pearse AC. Second was Barbara Cleary of Donorre Harriers in 29:46, who was also first W50, while third was Meghan McCarthy of Kilkenny City Harriers in 31:35.
Brothers Pearse made it a team double in the senior category with the women led by Ciara Hickey and the men by Conor Deane in sixth place; they also won the W40 team category.
Best of the M40 teams was Rathfarnham WSAF AC.Among the also rans was former Irish marathon champion Christine Kennedy of Galway City Harriers and a large group from Sanctuary Runners. The day had started early with a number of children’s races, with all finishers getting a medal and a goodie bag.
Track success for Irish stars
For a second year, Irish record holder Louise Shanahan of Leevale AC went under two minutes for 800m at the Irish Milers Club track meet on the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on Saturday (May 13) – and booked her place at the World Championships in Budapest later this season.
Shanahan finished in a time of 1:59.50 – marginally slower than the Irish record time of 1:59.42 she had run a year earlier at the same meet, when she had beaten Ciara Mageean into second place. At the time, Mageean held the Irish record with a time of 1:59.69 set in 2020.
This year, Mageean, who missed the indoor season because of a foot injury, finished fourth in a closely-fought race behind English athletes Ibigail Ives and Isabelle Boffey, finishing in 2:00.36.
In the race of the day, four Irish women went under 2 mins 2 secs – Shanahan , Mageean, and also Sarah Healy of UCD AC fifth in 2:01.75 and Emerald AC’s Jenna Bromell in 2:01.80. Both those times were personal bests.
Other good middle distance performances came from Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC who clocked a personal best 7:50.87 when winning the men’s 3000m. A fighting second in a personal best time of 7:53.24 waa junior international Nicholas Griggs of Mid Ulster AC. He crossed the line with English visitor James Went who was timed at 7:53.25.
Winning the women’s 3000m in 9:25.81 was Cheryl Nolan of St Abban’s AC. Nakita Burke of Letterkenny AC was second in 9:29.29 and Fiona Everard of Bandon AC third in 9:29.29.
Best of the Irish in the men’s 800m was UK-based Rocco Zamen Brown in 1:47.30.
A Dublin Championship title for Eimear Maher of Dundrum South Dublin AC in the 1500m kicked off the second Dublin Graded Track and Field meet of the season held in Tallaght on a blustery Wednesday evening (May 10).
Maher, still a junior, had a clear victory in the A grade 1500 with a personal best time of 4 mins 29.15 secs. Second and third were two visitors from Nenagh Olympic – Jennifer O’Leary in 4:41.45 amd Niamh Cunneen in 4:46.22. Second Dublin athlete in 4:47.45 was Kate Nurse of UCD AC in 4:467.45, with Aisling Mohan of MSB AC fifth and third Dublin athlete in 4:46.84.
In the men’s 1500m Grade A race, incorporating the Dublin Championships, junior athlete Triain Rebeqea of MSB AC, was the winner in a battle to the line with Jamie Fallon of Craughwell AC. The pair were timed at 3:58.73 and 4:00.11 respectively. In third place and second Dubliner was Jamie Byrne of DSD AC in 4:02.26.
Best of the Irish running 10,000m races on the USA collegiate circuit was Brian Fay of Raheny Shamrock AC. Fay not only won the 10,000m at the Pacific 12 meet on Friday (May 12) with a time of 28:24.90, he took the considerable scalp of Charlie Hicks, double winner of the title and NCAA cross-country champion. On the final lap, Hicks chased Fay right to the line and finished second in 28:25.12.
Irish athletes dominated the 10,000m at the opening day of the Big East Outdoor Championships hosted by Villanova (May 11-13), with Barry Keane of Waterford AC winning in a time of 29:10.62, Abdel Laadjel of Donore Harriers second in 29:12.50 and David McGlynn of Waterford AC third in 29:34.
Also running was Shane Coffey of Naas AC seventh in 30:03.32. In the women’s 10,000m, Orla O’Connor of Waterford AC was fourth in 35:14.49 and Niamh O’Mahoney of An Riocht AC ninth in 37:10.68. Winnng the men’s 1500m in 3:44.90 was Sean Donoghue of Celtic DCH.
A day later, Leevale AC’s Jane Buckley finished third in the women’s 5000m in 15:55.10, while Barry Keane picked up more points for his college team when he finished fifth in the men’s 5000m in 13:47.05.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, at the ACC Championships, Paul O’Donnell of DSD AC finished a fighting second in the 10,000m in 30:18.96. On Thursday (May 11) Lauren Tinkler of Dublin City Harriers ran a personal best 34:36.61 at the Sun Belt Championships in Myrtle Beach, South California.
Over the shorter 1500m distance, Shane Bracken of Swinford AC clocked 3:42.74 for victory at the SEC Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
On the road again
Fastest at the Roscarbery Surf ’n’ Turf 10km in Co Cork on Saturday (May 13) were Alfie David of Leevale AC in 38:47 and Carmel Crowley of Bandon AC in 43:07. Sean Dineen from Clonakilty won the half marathon in 87:20, with Clara Ryan of St Finbarr’s AC first woman in 95:36.
Derek Griffin won the Run Killarney Half Marathon with a time of 72:54 on Saturday (May 13) Second and first woman in 77:45 was Niamh Clifford of Donore Harriers. In the 10km, Vinny Connolly of Mulligar Harriers was the winner in 32:23 with Siobhan Daly of An Riocht AC first woman in 39:33.
Friday night at the races
Evan Fitzgerald of Clonmel AC made it three wins from three in the West Waterford Summer League at the Ballinroad 5km on Friday (May 12). His time was 15 mins 28 secs.
Dermot Gorman of Carrick-on-Suir AC was second in 15:44 and Noel Murphy of Waterford AC third in 16:01.
First woman was Kate Veale of host club West Waterford C in 17:46. Ferrybank AC’s Louise Morgan was second in 18:54 and Siobhain Heylin of Waterford AC third in 20:08.
In Galbally, Co Limerick, also on Friday, Declan Moore of Bilboa AC was the winner at the Michael Cunningham 4-Mile with a time of 19:39. Killian Lynch of West Limerick AC was second in 20:42 and Sean Blackburn of Leevale AC third in 21:349.
Seventh and first woman was Dymphna Ryan of Dundrum AC in 22:42, followed by Angela McCann of Clonmel AC in 24:27 and Suzanne Shine of Clonmel AC in 25:30.
Shane Brady of Clones AC won the Maguiresbridge 10km in 34:21. Paul Donnelly was first woman in 39:28. Junior athletes dominated the 5km with Tiarnan McManus of Enniskillen RC first boy in 17:31 and Eden Faye of Roadrunners AC first girl in 21:02.
Earlier this week…
Pat Fitzgerald of Waterford AC and Fiona Santry of East Cork AC were the winners of the Youghal AC 5km in Co Cork on Thursday (May 11). Their times were 15:47 and 17:14 respectively.
Shane Collins of Apple led home 368 finishers at the Cork BHAA Pfizer 6-mile road race in Ringaskiddy on Wednesday evening (May 10).
Collins finished in 31 mins 5 secs, almost half a minute clear of Darragh Mulcahy of Pfizer and Donal Coakley of Gilead Sciences who were both timed at 31:34.
First woman and first W40 was Michelle Kenny of the Department of Education in 36:33. Carol Finn of CF Physical Therapy was second in 36.56 and Catherine Murphy of Janssen third and first W45 in 37:05. In the graded team competition, Apple of the men and Joyce Wolfe Physio of the women finished top in grade A.
BHAA races, organised by runners for runners, with teams based on the workplace, are now some of the cheapest on the race calendar and are seeing an encouraging rise in numbers.
Series getting serious
Kevin Baker was the winner of the Pat Finnerty Woodland Trail League 5km second round run on Wednesday (May 10). Baker finished in 16 mins 34 secs – five seconds clear of James Keegan of Na Fianna AC, who had also finished second in the opening round of the league. First woman was Fiona Gettings of Longford AC made it two wins from two finishing in 17:52.
On the same evening, the opening round of the St Abban’s 4km Summer League took place with Brian Kelly of the host club the winner in 12 mins 37 secs and Grace Reilly of Portlaoise first woman in 14:53.
Declan Ferry of Rosses AC and Teresa Doherty were the winners at the Inter-Firms 5km, in Letterkenny on Wednesday (May10). Top team was Atalian Servest – Oran O’Hare, JP Williamson and Darragh Crossan.
At Lough Lannagh, John Courell of Ballina AC won the Castlebar 5km in fast time of 16:33 on Tuesday (May 9). Norah Newcombe Pieterse of Mayo AC was first woman in 17:59.
The race was the opening round of the four-race Mayo 5km Series.
Ger Hartnett of Tuam AC won the third race in the Galway 5km Series held at Craughwell also on Tuesday. Hartnett finished in 16 mins 34 secs. First woman was Jane-Ann Meehan of Galway City Harriers in 18:13.
In Carrickfergus, the winners at the Woodburn Forest Series in Carrickfergus again on Tuesday were James Hamilton of Ballymena Runners in 16:46 and Paula Worthington, also Ballymena Runners, in 20:41.